Atlanta Airport Blackout Affects Boston Travel

The fallout from an 11-hour power outage at Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport hits Logan.

A plane leaves Boston Logan Airport with the city skyline in the background

Photo via iStock/SPO123

Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport apparently didn’t get the memo that Sunday was the sixth night of Hanukkah, the festival of lights.

The world’s busiest airport was blanketed in darkness for nearly 11 hours, after a power outage caused 1,180 flight cancellations and created a nightmare before Christmas that puts Jack Skellington to shame. Though the lights flickered back on just before midnight on Sunday, the airport’s lengthy paralysis will have a trickle-down effect on air travel through Monday, including in Boston.

Five Delta Air Line flights between Atlanta and Boston were cancelled Monday morning, according to FlightAware, adding to the 20 Sunday routes affected by the blackout. Massport said some flights coming into Logan may also be delayed on Monday, and travelers should confirm takeoff times before leaving for the airport, according to the Boston Globe.

CNN’s Betsy Klein, meanwhile, shared what it was like to be stuck on one of the planes in Atlanta that was not allowed to deplane for hours and hours because of the blackout.

In a statement, Georgia Power said the blackout was likely caused by a fire in an underground electrical facility. According to the company, the failure did not endanger any passengers or employees.

The number of people traveling long distances increases by about 23 percent during the December holidays, according to the Bureau of Transportation Statistics, and around 275,000 people fly through Atlanta on a given day—more than the combined populations of Cambridge and Somerville. Anthony Foxx, who served as President Obama’s transportation secretary, was stuck on a plane for several hours and referred to the power outage as an “abject failure.” And yet, despite the blackout, Atlanta does still have one thing to hold over our heads:


We’ll let them take their wins where they can get them.